Thursday, October 31, 2013

Christmas Project 2013

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Design from Dimensions kit #8660 "Keepsake Ornaments"
Stitched single strand on 22 count antique white hardanger fabric.

I made a version of this ornament for myself a few years ago and in July, when I decided to use it for this year's gift ornament, I decided that I wanted to add a simple white on white pattern to the back. I also wanted to change the border pattern a little so that the pattern on the top and bottom was more similar to the pattern on the sides. I played with a few different threads and patterns and the day before I left for Vancouver I made myself choose the patterns that I would use. While I was in Vancouver I stitched all of the ornament backs. After I returned home I began to stitch the ornament fronts.

By August 15 I had stitched 16 ornament backs and 2 ornament fronts. I was working on 2 more ornament fronts.

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By September 12 I had 10 ornament fronts completely stitched and I was working on 2 more ornament fronts.

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By September 27th I had completed all 16 ornament backs and 16 ornament fronts.

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Then I put the project away for a few weeks while I pursued other projects. When I finally got around to buying the backing board I found a new product. Previously I have used card stock, for 3D projects, and illustration board for flat objects. This time I purchased Strathmore 400 4 ply Bristol Board. (And yes, it is acid free.) This isn't the thin Bristol Board often used for school projects. This is more the thickness of the box board that used to be used for laundry detergent boxes.

On October 25 I began to cut out the backing boards I would need for this project. I liked that I could easily cut the board with good scissors and I knew that the thinner boards would make it easier to fold the fabric over the corners.

I also decided to try handling the corners in a different way. In the past what I have done is to fold the fabric to one side

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so that when I put the two pieces together the thickest part of one stacked onto the thinnest part of the other one.

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That means that at most there are four layers of folded fabric, instead of six layers of folded fabric, between the front and back of the ornament. When I have made ornaments with a thin fabric on the back this wasn't an issue but I thought that the four layers of hardanger fabric at the corners might make for a big gap between the corners. On the long side edges it might even mean that the cording would want to slip into the gap between the back and front.

So this time I decided that I was going to cut away the excess fabric at the corners.

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But I knew from past experience that the tiny ends of thread would soon spring up like a crew cut,

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and I didn't want bristles at the corners of my ornaments. So, I used a tooth pick to apply a dot of fast drying Fabri-Tac glue to each corner, waited a minute and then pressed the tiny thread ends down and towards the center back of the ornament. (Like slicking down errant hairs.)

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Then I glued the ornament together as usual (with fast setting FabriTac Glue applied near the outside edge) applied clothespins to the edges and left it to dry while I worked on the next ornament.

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When I removed the clothespins the edges looked like this.

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On October 31, when I had all the ornament sandwiches glued together, they looked like this.

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For details on how I assemble padded ornament follow the links on the following blog page,

On November 4 I completely finished all of the ornaments.

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Note to self. For the cording I wrapped Cebelia20 crochet cotton around the length of my meter stick five times and added a single strand of the DMC gold metallic thread. That gave me 10 strands of crochet cotton and one strand of metallic thread. I twisted them for 14 seconds using the lowest speed on my hand mixer. The finished tassel has 42 strands of crochet cotton and four strands of metallic thread.


  1. Pinwheel
    I admire all you beautiful works and everytime I remain with open mouth to see you talent.
    These ornaments as the other are absolutely beautiful!

  2. They are gorgeous. I never tire of looking at your beautiful work.

  3. Can't tell you how it warms my heart to see your annual Christmas finishes. Congratulations on another year of beauty.

    1. Thank you for your kind words dear Dee.